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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS ARTICLES
LAST UPDATED: THURSAY, MARCH 9, 2017

Trump nominates Fil-Am Lawyer for Solicitor General
President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco to permanently fill that position Tuesday night.

Elderly Fil-Am NY Doc Couple Ran $77 Million Pain-Pill Business, says Drug Enforcement Agency
Two married geezers from the Upper West Side kept countless junkies stoned for years by turning the hubby’s medical office into a “pill mill” for prescription narcotics, authorities charged Tuesday.

Josephine ‘BANIG’ Roberto - Ready to hit the dance floor with The Remixes to her new single "HE WANTS TO GET IT" on January 6. 2015!

LOS ANGELES, CA / January 3, 2015 --- Josephine Roberto, also known as “Banig” is ready to hit the dance floor with the release “HE WANTS TO GET IT (THE REMIXES)“ available on iTunes & Amazon January 6, 2015. The music video can be seen on VEVO which premiered the same day of her critically acclaimed concert at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live titled “Unplugged Series” on July 19, 2014.

Pops Fernandez: 'Great to be single'; would rather date younger men
Singer Pops Fernandez says she sees nothing wrong with dating younger men because they “are more sure of themselves, more aggressive and most importantly, they’re single.”

Jessica Sanchez conquers Filipino Hearts on Valentine's Day
After waiting for about half an hour, the jam-packed crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was starting to get impatient,, repeatedly calling out her name: “Jessica! Jessica! Jessica!”

Gerald Anderson's Mom Still a Kimerald?
Although Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson have parted ways some three years ago, it seems that his mother remains a fan of their previous on-and-off-cam relationship.

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TRUMP NOMINATES FIL-AM LAWYER FOR SOLICITOR GENERAL

CNN
March 8, 2017

Washington (CNN)

President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco to permanently fill that position Tuesday night.

Francisco, who most recently hails from the law firm Jones Day, has been working on the re-launch of the President's travel ban executive order. At Jones Day he worked with Donald McGahn, the current White House counsel, and is one of several Jones Day alumni currently serving in the Trump administration.

"Noel is an incredibly gifted appellate advocate, I've worked with him a lot," said Mike Carvin, who has worked with Francisco for many years at Jones Day. "He is as easy to work with as he is persuasive to the courts., He can advance controversial issues without annoying the other side and even people who disagree with him in principal uniformly like him as a person."

The job of solicitor general is one of the most coveted legal jobs in Washington. The so called "S.G." stands in the ornate chamber and argues before the Supreme Court, but he or she also plays a vital behind the scenes role of determining whether the United States will appeal in thousands of cases each year.

The White House made the announcement alongside several other administration posts, including general counsel posts at the CIA and Department of Defense.

Those named were Courtney Simmons Elwood for a top legal job at the CIA, Jeffrey Rosen for the number two position at the Department of Transportation, John Sullivan for general counsel at defense, Ajit Pai to the FCC and Tony Sayegh, Jr. for assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department.

Both Rosen and Sullivan were named to administration posts in former President George W. Bush's administration, and the White House said Sayegh is a Fox News contributor who has worked in professional politics.

Elwood worked in government for the bulk of the Bush administration, including as deputy counsel under former Vice President Dick Cheney, and clerked for former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, according to the biography page on the law firm she works at.

Francisco, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, has argued several times before the high court as a private attorney. In 2016 he secured a victory for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in a case concerning the scope of a federal bribery statute.

He was initially tapped to serve as Principal Deputy Solicitor General for the United States. In January, sources said that Charles J. Cooper of Cooper Kirk and George Conway, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz who is also the husband of Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway were the two front runners for the top spot. Cooper -- a close friend of Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- later withdrew his name from consideration.

Other potential choices for the solicitor general nomination were lawyers Christopher Landau of Kirkland & Ellis and Kannon Shanmugam of Williams & Connolly.

Francisco was raised in Oswego, New York and he graduated from the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Law School. He is a former clerk to Judge J. Michael Luttig. The job of Solicitor General requires Senate confirmation.

Like Francisco, Pai has been serving as acting chairman of the FCC since January, and the announcement Tuesday night showed Trump's formal intention to make the move permanent. He originally became a member of the FCC under former President Barack Obama for one of the Republican positions on FCC leadership.

As a member during the Obama administration, he voted against the agency's net neutrality rules and has broken with the previous Democratic chairman of the FCC.

In a statement, Pai said he was "deeply honored" to get a chance at a second term.

CNN's Eli Watkins contributed to this report.


ELDERLY FIL-AM NY DOC COUPLE RAN $77 MILLION PAIN-PILL BUSINESS, SAYS DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY

[Rogelio Lucas, MD, is a 1961 graduate of University of The East / Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. His wife, Lydia Arayata-Lucas, also an MD, was no longer practicing but served as her husband's office manager.]

Elderly doctor, wife charged in $77M ‘pill mill’
New York Post
June 9, 2015

Two married geezers from the Upper West Side kept countless junkies stoned for years by turning the hubby’s medical office into a “pill mill” for prescription narcotics, authorities charged Tuesday.

Dr. Rogelio Lucas, 77, and his office-manager wife, Lydia, 79, allegedly made millions by peddling so many crooked prescriptions that the overflow crowds in their waiting room forced them to relocate three times.

Lucas, who earned his medical degree in the Philippines, treated the elderly and Medicaid patients before turning to the far more lucrative racket of drug dealing in 2009, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said.

He allegedly worked with several major drug rings to write more than 23,600 prescriptions for 3 million-plus tablets of the highly addictive painkiller oxycodone worth more than $77 million on the streets.

Between 45 and 50 people who served as “runners” for the drug rings would routinely pick up prescriptions each day, then get them filled at local pharmacies and turn over the pills to the dealers, authorities said.

Lydia served as “the brains behind the operation,” scheduling appointments, maintaining files and collecting $120 in cash for each bogus script, Manhattan prosecutor Ryan Sakacs said.

The couple allegedly deposited about $500,000 in cash into various bank accounts between June 2013 and July 2014, and investigators seized more than $600,000 in cash from a home they have in Scarsdale.

The couple lives in a West 95th Street apartment, and also has other homes in Hawaii and Florida, and are building a place in the Philippines, authorities said.

They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and drug charges in Manhattan Criminal Court, where they were ordered held on $500,000 bond each and led off in handcuffs.

Defense lawyer Liam Malanaphy said their family, which includes eight kids, would “scramble to come up with some bail” to get them sprung.

Residents of 215 W. 101st St., where Rogelio kept his latest office, said there were signs his practice was shady.

“He had all these handwritten notes all over his door that said ‘Please do not wait outside the door,’” one female tenant said. “I thought if my doctor had notes like that, I wouldn’t want to see him.”

Tenant Stephen Greenberg, 68, also said he complained to the cops because Rogelio would “send the doorman on frequent errands,” leaving the building unprotected. “He was nasty, and I hope he serves some serious time,” Greenberg said.


Josephine ‘BANIG’ Roberto - Ready to hit the dance floor with The Remixes to her new single "HE WANTS TO GET IT" on January 6. 2015!


LOS ANGELES, CA / January 3, 2015 --- Josephine Roberto, also known as “Banig” is ready to hit the dance floor with the release “HE WANTS TO GET IT (THE REMIXES)“ available on iTunes & Amazon January 6, 2015. The music video can be seen on VEVO which premiered the same day of her critically acclaimed concert at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live titled “Unplugged Series” on July 19, 2014.

“He Wants To Get It” is a pure showcase of good ol’ dance music and killer vocals with a catchy hook that takes us back to the real essence of feel good music in the Pop/R&B/Dance industry that everyone’s been longing for.

Starting out as a young child/teen singer, dubbed as the young Whitney, Mariah, Tina and Janet, with her new single, “He Wants To Get It”, Josephine Roberto proves that she has the potential to be one of the world's most promising new divas in the industry, capturing a wider demographic. It features an EDM remix by one of Nashville’s finest remixers, DJ Lenny B. Known for his distinct, dance floor-prime, yet radio-friendly remixes, Lenny B’s credits as a remixer and producer in electronic dance music put him in good company with today’s most chartable remixers. His credits include LeAnn Rimes, Britney Spears, India.Arie, Natasha Bedingfield, Rihanna, One Direction, The Fray and more.

DJ Gomi’s Tribal Remix is the one to bring the bass to the dance floor. DJ Gomi is an internationally acclaimed producer, songwriter and DJ with remixing credits that include Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Maxwell, Tiesto, Three 6 Mafia, Celine Dion, and Cyndi Lauper. He also produced and remixed “Seasons of Love”, which became a dance floor classic along with his collaborations with Junior Vasquez hits “Straight Up” by Chante Moore and “Everything” by Misia. Other productions which have hit the top of the Billboard Chart include “Din da Da,” and “When You Talk of Love” performed by Patti Labelle and his notable dance remix of Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker”.

DP’s Confessions Club ReMix is a super sexy electro house mix by one of LA’s up and coming female songwriter and producer JOJO. A synth-filled, strictly bass driven track with overlapping dubs mixed with Josephine’s intense vocal pipes and soulful adlibs. A sure party starter and teaser for the fellaz!

Josephine “Banig” Roberto won the International Star Search competition representing the Philippines and she graced memorable performances on several TV shows in the U.S. such as The Arsenio Hall Show, Into the Night with Rick Dees, Maury Povich Show, Super Dave Osborne Show, Good Day LA, just to name a few. She headlined major solo concerts at landmark venues such as The Hollywood Palladium, Wiltern Theater, Trump Taj Mahal and the list goes on and on. Her last 2 albums "Silent Whispers" & "Josephine Roberto" were released in the U.S. and included 3 of her singles "Boogie on the Dance Floor", "Walk" and her very 1st US released Tagalog single "Igalaw Natin" all of which charted on trade publications CMJ and DJ Times.

With all the experience under her belt, she is more equipped in showing the world the skills of what it really takes to be a world-class entertainer. It may be a precarious challenge to break into the music industry nowadays, but with her sass and spunk, vocals and moves, songwriting and producing abilities, and powerhouse live performances, this could only mean that Josephine Roberto is heading in the right direction. He Wants To Get It is steadily climbing up the digital radio charts and peaked at #7 on the R&B/Hip Hop Airplay Chart. It also made #5 Most Added on the CMJ Hip Hop & RPM charts along with notable play from digital stations all over the US including 103.1 KISS FM Houston, 96 FM THE BEAT Las Vegas, KDOM – Tampa, KIJX FM St. Louis, MEGA 95.5 FM Baltimore, PARTY 105.2 Greensboro, POWER 99 JAMZ Houston, REX XM Los Angeles, STAR 95.7 San Francisco, V-100 FM Richmond, WILD 98 Dallas, WVIB Birmingham and many more. The music video is being shown throughout the world including VEVO, Video Box – PC Music, Bowling Music Network, BPM TV Toronto, CMC TV San Francisco, The Sound Chamber Denver, FIL-AM TV Los Angeles and charted at #8 on the Pulse TV Network Pop & Dance Charts. The video was also featured on Promo Only’s September Hits HD Edition being shown throughout the US at retail stores, hotels and dance clubs. You can download “He Wants To Get It (The Remixes” on iTunes, Amazon and all other digital outlets available January 6, 2015. For the latest on Josephine “BANIG” Roberto, please visit www.josephineroberto.com or www.banigonline.com. You can also connect with her on social media via Facebook @banigonline, Instagram @josephineroberto, Twitter @banigmusic, Youtube @banigonline.

Management/Booking: management@josephineroberto.com

Websites / Social Media:
http://www.josephineroberto.com
http://www.banigonline.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Roberto http://www.facebook.com/banigonline
http://www.twitter.com/banigmusic
http://www.instagram.com/josephineroberto http://www.youtube.com/banigonline


Pops Fernandez: 'Great to be single'; would rather date younger men
by Marinel R. Cruz
Inquirer, March 4, 2013

Singer Pops Fernandez says she sees nothing wrong with dating younger men because they “are more sure of themselves, more aggressive and most importantly, they’re single.”

Pops, 46, admits to have dated “several” guys younger than her, including former ramp model and actor Brad Turvey. She dated Turvey in 2004, shortly after the annulment of her marriage to singer-TV host Martin Nievera.

“I recently asked my sons’ opinion on this and they said it’s OK with them, as long as I’m happy,” the singer tells the Inquirer.

Pops and Martin have two sons—Robin, 26, and Ram, 23.

“Of course, they (her children) ask questions, especially if they want to know more about a particular guy I’m with,” she related. “Unlike other kids, they’re not too strict when it comes to how I dress. They’re used to it. It’s normal to them. Sometimes they would even ask me tips on what they should wear on their own dates.”

She added that her sons even like wearing outfits that match hers during their own dinner dates.

Pops and Regine Velasquez joined entertainment writers for lunch on Friday to promote the repeat of “Foursome,” their Valentine concert with Martin and Ogie Alcasid, to be held on March 16 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Great to be single

Pops says what’s great about being single is that “you get to meet a lot of people and you get to choose (who to hang out with).”

She adds: “I never got to experience that when I was younger, having been raised by my mom (Dulce Lucban), who was then so strict, and then getting married so young. I might as well do it now.”

The singer clarifies that while she enjoys going out, she is not ready to fall in love again just yet.

“I know it will just happen. If I finally meet somebody who I’m sure could take care of me, then I could probably take our relationship to the next level. Right now, I’m not officially with anybody. I just like meeting different people.”

Dream guy

Asked for the qualities she looks for in a man, Pops replies: “He has to understand my situation—I take care of two boys—and of what I’ve been through in my marriage. The guy also has to accept that I’m already set in my ways and that I’m independent. Of course, he has to be kind-hearted just like me.”

Pops also says she prefers dating Filipino men, “although people say Pinoys are big babies.”

She adds: “I have nothing against foreigners. Maybe I just haven’t met someone I found interesting enough. It’s just that their culture is very different from ours. It’s hard enough to adjust to the quirks of a Filipino guy, more so to the culture of a foreigner.”

Pops, whose daring and sexy cover photo on the men’s magazine FHM in 2006 became highly controversial, says she is still unprepared to be a grandmother.

“Kuya (Robin) has a girlfriend, but we don’t joke about my being a lola because I don’t find it funny,” she declares. “However, we discuss marriage sometimes. I told him it’s easy to get married, but you first have to figure out whether or not you’re ready to give up being single. I said, ‘Enjoy your life first. If your special someone really loves you, she will wait until you’re ready.’”

“Foursome the Repeat” will also feature Gary Valenciano as special guest performer.


Jessica Sanchez conquers Filipino hearts on Valentine's Day
by Maila Ager
Inquirer, Feb. 18, 2013

MANILA - After waiting for about half an hour, the jam-packed crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was starting to get impatient, repeatedly calling out her name: “Jessica! Jessica! Jessica!”

But the long wait was worth it when American Idol Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez emerged on stage in a silver mini dress singing her own version of “Can’t take my eyes off of you.”

It was her fellow American Idol finalist Colton Dixon who opened her Valentine’s Day concert at 8:30 p.m. last Thursday.

Dixon performed six songs that included Lifehouse’s “Everything” and “Meant to Love” by Switchfoot.

When Dixon’s 15-minute front act ended, the lights went off, leaving the crowd in anticipation of Sanchez’s first number.

So when the Filipino-Mexican of “Idol” fame finally appeared a little past 9 p.m. and did her opening song, eager anticipation was replaced by deafening cheers and applause from the audience.

“Mabuhay Manila!” Sanchez told her screaming fans, who were unstoppable when she gave her own version of “Human nature,” “Love on top,” and “Someone like you.”

Dixon returned on stage to do a duet with Sanchez of “Love the way you lie”.

The highlight of the show was when Sanchez, this time clad in a white dress, sang “Ikaw” popularized by megastar Sharon Cuneta.

The crowd went wild and gave Sanchez a standing ovation after.

The screams only got louder when she belted out Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” and Jennifer Holiday’s “And I am telling you.”

Sanchez dedicated a song to her dad, “ Dance with my father” who she wished “could be here tonight”.

Sanchez’s finale was an upbeat song “Fairy Tales.”

“Thank you Manila! I love you so much! Happy Valentine’s Day. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Thank you so much!” she told the audience.

She returned for her encore and sang another upbeat song, “Jump in.”

Sanchez’s performance alone only took about an hour but she didn’t fail her fans who lined up outside the venue as early as 5 p.m.

“Amazing!” a young girl exclaimed after the show.

“It was a great!” another fan said.

A 23-year-old teacher, Juddielene Caceres, came all the way from San Pedro Laguna and took a leave of absence just to watch her idol. She even brought her 17-year-old student, Kimberly Malunes, whom she said looked like Sanchez.

Because they could not afford to pay for an expensive seat close to the stage, Caceres said they brought a binocular, which they also used when Sanchez first held her first concert along with other American Idol finalists last year.

“Malayo kapag general admission na pero ok lang worth it naman pag nandoon ka na,’ she said.

Caceres said she liked the singer even more when Sanchez replied to her tweet in May last year.

“Kasi noong malapit na yung finale ng American Idol, nag tweet ako kay Jessica tapos nag reply sya kaya lalo ko syang nagustuhan,” she said.

“Kasi napapansin ko yung mga heels nya ang gaganda Sabi ko how many heels do you have..? Nagreply sya: ‘I have a lot, thank you’”

Sanchez’s crowd also included a 59-year-old employee, Anne, from Bulacan who was with other family members to watch their idol.

Also spotted at the concert were former Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife, and former Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino.


Gerald Anderson's Mom Still a Kimerald?
Manila Bulletin
Feb. 13, 2013

Although Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson have parted ways some three years ago, it seems that his mother remains a fan of their previous on-and-off-cam relationship.

Gerald's mother, Evangeline Opsima, revealed that some of Kim's gifts for Gerald when they were still together are kept in their renovated home in General Santos. Among these are a huge mirror in the living room, as well as a golf cart in the garden, which the young actress bought for his 21st birthday.

Mommy Vangie toured Kris Aquino, Melai Cantiveros, and Jason Francisco around the wide-spaced abode in the Wednesday episode of “Kris TV.” She also showed off the red handbag which Kim gave the former on her birthday.

In a separate interview, Gerald related that Mommy Vangie is “very sentimental.”

“Mahalaga sa kanya ‘yung mga bagay-bagay. Kunwari bibigyan mo siya ng isang regalo, she’ll keep it for a long time,” said he.

Mommy Vangie also treasures the Kimerald mug as well as the mattress which came from the ex-lovers’ fans, and even a framed photo of a younger Kim and Gerald together, put on display.

Asked if she misses Kim, Mommy Vangie quickly replied, “Oo naman.”

However, she related that Kim is no longer able to communicate with her.

“Well meron sigurong nagbawal na… ‘Di na siya mag-reply. Siguro lang, ‘di ko lang alam,” Mommy Vangie deemed.

Meanwhile, she also admitted to having met Maja Salvador, Kim’s estranged best friend to whom Gerald is currently linked, two months ago.

“Pero wala akong alam pa do’n,” Mommy Vangie added, apparently referring to the real score between the two.

As for Sarah Geronimo, whom Gerald courted prior, Mommy Vangie said she has met the Popstar Princess twice.

“[Nung] first movie nila and premiere,” she curtly said.


Maja Salvador on relationship with "former" best friend Kim Chiu: "Work, work, work."
by Monching Jaramillo
Philippine Entertainment Portal, Jan. 22, 2013

Magkasama ang PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at YES! magazine na dumalaw sa TV commercial shoot ni Maja Salvador para sa isang telephone company kaninang tanghali, January 22, sa Unitel Studios, Makati City.

Nadatnan naming inaayusan ang young actress at ngumiti ito bilang pagbati. After a quick brunch, ay nagpaunlak na siya ng interview.

Kung bakit ayaw nang magbigay pa ng pahayag si Maja Salvador sa sigalot nila ni Kim Chiu dahil kay Gerald Anderson, ito ang paliwanag niya: “Lalalaki pa kasi, e, hindi matatapos. Ano na lang, I’ll ask po for your ano… 'wag nang makisali. Tulungan n'yo kami na sana, in time, yung sitwasyon namin ngayon maayos."

May Twitter at Instagram accounts si Maja, pero wala raw siyang Facebook. Kumusta siya sa social networking world?

At dahil nga sa ipinost niyang picture kamakailan sa Instagram, kung saan nandoon si Gerald Anderson kasama ang ilan pang kamag-anak at kaibigan ni Maja, ay nagbunga ito ng iba't ibang reaksiyon.

“Fun sa umpisa, pero may mga araw… may mga pagkakataon na parang hindi rin maganda," umpisa niya.

“Kasi kahit papa'no, kung may mabasa man ako, o kami na negative, o kung anuman yung nasabi na sobra ka nilang i-judge, or sobra ka nilang kilala na hindi naman talaga, parang ang hirap no’n, di ba?

“Kahit na may gano’ng mga sinasabi, siyempre tao din naman kami, kahit papa’no naapektuhan.

“Pero yun, minsan kailangan mo rin piliin kung talaga bang papayag kang magbasa ng mga comments or mag-post ka ng mga posts.”

Paano niya ito hinaharap?

“Deadma!” walang gatol niyang sagot.

Iniiwasan ba niya ang bashers, o bina-block?

“Hindi, hindi… hindi ako nagba-block.

“Oo, madaming gano’n. E, kailangan nating respetuhin yung mga taong gano’n... kung ano yung gusto nilang i-comment. Sila yun, e."

Dahil dito ay hindi na lang daw siya nagbabasa ng kahit na anong comment.

“Hindi na. Posts lang ako. I love you,” lambing niyang iwas sa maaari pang itanong ng PEP at YES! itanong.

ART IMITATES LIFE OR LIFE IMITATES ART? Sinasabing parallel o parang akma sa totoong buhay ang hidwaan ng karakter nila ni Kim Chiu bilang si Celyn at si Maja bilang si Margaux sa Ina Kapatid Anak.